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Community Risk MAP Studies: City of Homer

The City of Homer has been engaged in two recent Risk MAP studies: a Physical Map Revision of the Homer Spit, which was completed in November 2013, and the current Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Flood Study described in detail below.

Homer Spit Physical Map Revision

This Physical Map Revision project included 8 miles of revised coastal hazard analysis that included collection of storm surge data (coastal hydrology) and conduct overland wave height analysis (coastal hydraulics), in addition to computing wave runup. The new Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) became effective November 6, 2013.

Homer Spit Physical Map Revision Risk MAP Discovery Documents Homer Spit Revised Preliminary Flood Insurance Study and Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps

Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Flood Study

FEMA and the State of Alaska conducted a coastal Risk MAP Study in the Kenai Peninsula Borough that began in 2011. The coastal Flood Insurance Study and FIRMS became effective October 20, 2016.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Flood Study Discovery Documents Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Flood Study Scope Documents Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Flood Study Draft Work Maps - Homer Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Flood Study Preliminary Maps - Homer Kenai Peninsula Borough Risk MAP Resilience Workshop - Homer

Resilience is the final phase of the Risk MAP process when stakeholders of the Risk MAP process reflect on how the new information, tools and products of the Risk MAP study can be used to increase resilience in the community. A Resilience Workshop is an in-person meeting led by FEMA, the State Risk MAP Coordinator and the Risk MAP Project Team. The goal of the meeting is to help communities understand the results of the risk assessment products and to develop resilience-focused strategies using the new data and resources. During this meeting FEMA, State and Local officials engage with the mapping partners to identify the hazard risks through the use of the Risk MAP Products Suite, providing a new perspective and understanding of flood risk within their community.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Risk MAP Products and Tools Region X Service Center Quarterly Reports

Study Scope

Specific to the City of Homer, the scope of work of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Risk MAP Study included (see also the map below):

  • A detailed coastal flood hazard analysis including the collection of storm surge (coastal hydrology) and overland wave height analysis (coastal hydraulics) near Beluga Lake and Beluga Slough
  • Preparation of a regulatory Flood Insurance Study (FIS) Report document to the Community. A FIS is a book that contains information regarding flooding in a community and is developed in conjunction with the FIRM. The FIS, also known as a flood elevation study, frequently contains a narrative of the flood history of a community and discusses the engineering methods used to develop the FIRM. The study also contains flood profiles for studied flooding sources and can be used to determine Base Flood Elevations for some areas.
  • Preparation of a regulatory Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) map for all panels within the Community which identifies the Community's flood zones, base flood elevations, and floodplain boundaries. This map is used to determine where the purchase of flood insurance is required for properties with federally-backed mortgages. The preliminary FIS and DFIRM’s are scheduled to be released in Winter/Spring 2016.
  • All of the above datasets are in the North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  • The State and FEMA provided guidance, feedback, coordination and technical support throughout the Risk MAP Project Life Cycle.

Status of Project

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Risk MAP study has been completed. FEMA and the State Risk MAP Coordinator held a Resilience Workshop in Homer to review results and develop risk reduction strategies August 24, 2017. The finalized Risk Report was delivered to the City in January 2018. FEMA and the State will continue to work with the City to implement the resilience actions identified during the workshop, and will hold quarterly check-in calls with the City to provide updates on the status of the resilience actions.

The following table illustrates project status and includes major milestones with dates:

Activity Actual or Projected End Date
Discovery Interview January 25, 2011
Discovery Meeting March 2, 2011
Discovery Report May 2011
Flood Study Kick-Off Meeting July 26, 2012
Engineering Analysis 2012
Draft Work Maps Completed August 2013
Flood Risk Review Meeting August 28, 2013
Preliminary DFIRM/FIS Release June 13, 2014
Consultation Coordination Officers (CCO) Meeting September 11, 2014
Public Meeting/Workshop September 11, 2014
90-Day Appeal Period Start Date 1st Start: January 28, 2015; 2nd Start: August 12, 2015**
90-Day Appeal Period End Date 1st End: April 28, 2015; 2nd End: November 10, 2015**
Letter of Final Determination April 20, 2016
Draft Multi-Hazard Risk Report October 6, 2016
Maps and FIS Become Effective October 20, 2016
Risk MAP Resilience Workshop August 24, 2017
Delivery of Final Risk Report and Risk Assessment Database January 2018

*All projected dates are subject to revision as the project progresses

**Due to a map repository address error for the City of Seward on a DFIRM Map Index, a correction notice had to be submitted to FEMA and a subsequent Appeals and Protests period for the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the City of Seward will begin in early June 2015 and end in early September 2015. The City of Homer had an appeal period that ended on 4/28/2015. The City of Homer will sit idle while the second Appeal Period for the Borough and City of Seward takes place. At the conclusion of the second appeal period all three communities will go through the remaining FEMA required steps to reach an LFD date in early April 2016.

Map of Kenai Peninsula Borough Coastal Study Scope

Kenai Peninsula Study Scope Map
Click to view larger map

Contact for More Information

Sally Russell Cox
Division of Community and Regional Affairs
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
550 West 7th Avenue, Suite 1650
Anchorage, AK 99501-3569
Phone (907) 269-4588
Fax (907) 269-4539

Revised 03/15/2023